Is building muscle your priority for longer lasting health?

Building muscle is extremely important for maintaining strength, stability & mobility as you age.

Did you know that most adults lose up to 50% of their strength that they possessed in their 20’s by the age 40?

That’s a whopping amount.  This is because we lose the ability to use our motor units, the core function of our muscles.

Here’s another fact…

Our metabolism is made up of these 4 contributors represented in a pie chart.

Body Temperature Regulation at 5%

Feeding at 12%

Exercise at 17%

Muscle Mass at 66%

So you see, exercise doesn’t quite burn as much energy as we are generally lead to believe, even our smart technology is quite inconsistent with the readings.

Building muscle can significantly benefit the mental health aspect & chronic pain aspect of life as well, as it did for me.

Growing up & going through my teen years into early adult hood, I got easily overwhelmed, anxious all the time & battled with mental illness because of my low self esteem, I just had no confidence in my body which I thought held my value.

But it wasn’t until I transformed my physical health, that I began to improve the other aspects of my health such as my mindset, mental health & outlook on life.

Lifting weights & building muscle also allowed me to gain more mobility & strength throughout my entire body, which helped me overcome postural related pain and the pain of a l4-l5 bulging disc in my lower back that I had to work through from the age of 20.

So there are more than just physical benefits to lifting weights & changing your bodies muscle / fat ratio.

If you were to turn your approach to increasing the muscle mass that your body holds, you would also see the amount of energy you would burn throughout a day would increase, meaning you’d burn more energy whilst you’re sleeping too.

FACT: The average adult gains 15kgs of fat between the ages of 30 – 60 and loses 7kgs of muscle.

That’s a clear indication that as well as our weight going up with age can be attributed to lack of activity, our strength will go down significantly as well.

But I don’t want you to dwell on what you’ve lost here, think about all there is to gain by starting to lift some weights with resistance training focused on building muscle & increasing your strength.

A common objection though that I hear often is that people want to avoid lifting weights because they’re afraid of getting ‘too big & muscly.’

I understand that sentiment, but it isn’t entirely true.

Muscle takes a lot of time to build, it isn’t something that swells overnight.

The benefits of building muscle far outweigh the any negatives such as a more muscular appearance

If you aren’t interested in keeping your strength, building it and improving your bodies composition of muscle/fat ,some other benefits include increasing bone density with exercise & can possibly promote increased insulin sensitivity.

So for long term benefits such as strength maintenance, strength increases and decreasing the amount of body fat you’re holding, lifting weights once to twice a week for no longer than an 30 minutes each is a pretty good trade off!
And don’t underestimate how it could possibly improve your mental well-being & discourage age related pain.

Listen to Jake on The Redesign Your Body Podcast to rebuild your confidence & build a healthier lifestyle.

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Jake Pearson
Author: Jake Pearson